We asked Sirpa Nordlund – SVP, Head of Major Accounts, Country Manager Finland at Nets – whether biometrics will become the authentication method for payments in the future. Sirpa will be joining us in Paris Member Meeting in September – register for the meeting to hear more!
- What are the benefits of using finger vein instead of finger print to authenticate a person?
The biggest benefit of finger vein authentication is its reliability compared to finger prints. Finger print reading tends to be dependent on conditions ie. sunlight (or any other light for that matter) or the state of your finger’s skin. Finger print scanners have trouble reading too dry, scratched, too moist fingers, or if you have a wound on them. Finger vein scanning is also quicker and blood has to stream through the veins, so it’s much harder to spoof.
- Do you believe biometrics will become the authentication method for payments in the near future?
In short: they will become the authentication method for payments, but when exactly – no one knows. The price of the technology is getting cheaper at a growingly fast pace, but a sweet spot on price and adoption needs to be found, before we see biometrics used in stores in a larger scale. The adoption pattern usually resembles a hockey stick, but we can’t see, when exactly are we moving from the blade to the stick itself. It’ll probably start from the most advanced markets like the Nordics, UK or even Poland, where they’re very fast in adopting new payment technologies.
- What have been the key learnings from your finger vein trial in Copenhagen?
It’s still early to draw any definitive conclusions, since the pilot started only some weeks ago, but one great thing that this has showed us is, that there’s truly a huge interest in the future of payments and new innovations. This pilot has been covered by the mainstream media widely throughout the Nordics and it has attracted attention from ordinary people, not to mention us practitioners. The most common user feedback has been, that it’s a “cool” way of paying.
There are three main areas that need to be in order, when releasing new forms of payments, and these apply to finger vein payments as well:
First, security must be water-tight – zero tolerance to fraud. The benchmark today is contactless paying, where there hasn’t been any fraud affiliated with the technology itself.
Second, on-boarding should be silky smooth and there has to be a pull-mechanism, why would people adapt this technology.
Third, scalability. One must ask, what is the size of the global market, what is your go-to-market strategy and what are the key benefits for all the stakeholders?